Beforehand I was really looking forward to the Burton Tough Cat. It promised to be a board that exactly suited my preferences and my physique (190 and 90kg). And I was so stoked when it brought exactly what I had hoped for. This thing is a weapon. Really. For those of you who want to go full throttle and bomb down the mountain.
I rode the Burton Tough Cat on and off-piste run in Austrian ski resorts of Ischgl and Galtür. We enjoyed some great powder days, the first real snow dump of the season in that part of the Alps in 2016. So, not an incredible base, but many inches of fresh powder. Not always the best visibility through the continuous snowfall.
With a camber profile, this board is made for higher speeds, sweet carve turns and thanks to the rocker in the big nose and a setback position of the camber it also does really well during powder runs. As long as your going hard and fast Tough Cat is happy to give you everything it’s got. All the grip, control, spring, pop and pleasure you could hope for. I was continuously stoked during my runs with the Tough Cat: it is just so stable at higher speeds that it makes bombing easy. Longer wide red category pistes flew by, but also on black pistes where the snow was hard packed and sometimes icy, it just kept gripping. The best were the high speed runs through powder, you just keep flying with the Tough Cat.
The board is fairly stiff, with a thick edge that enhances the “toughness” and you will notice that when the snow gets rougher and sketchier. On more uneven terrain, for example, or at the end of the day when the pistes have been skied to moguls, the Tough Cat can feel quite hard if you want to board over all that chop. The better choice with the Tough Cat is to charge through that chop. It eats chop for, breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The Tough Cat is not a board that you should approach lightly and it’s not an “entry level board”. But my goodness what a joy it was to ride. You have to own the board, work for your turns and dominate the board. That’s when you feel what a magnificent beast you have under your feet.
Due to the mid-wide width of the board, it is better suited for riders with bigger feet. So if you’re of a slightly bigger build, if you have a more aggressive style and if you enjoy going flat out on the slopes or off-piste, this is a magnificent board. Truly an all-mountain freeride board with very aggressive characteristics.